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Amanda Macias's Blog in 2010

Posted 12/07/2010:  I have a friend in California who I call from time to time to talk news with. He graduated from Missouri School of Journalism and worked as a sports anchor/reporter at KOMU 8. When I started working at KOMU he became my mentor in the sports office. Every time we catch up he always mentions how he is still unemployed in the broadcast market. I always place myself in his shoes because he went through all of the journalism courses and KOMU shifts and I just figured that he was supposed to tell me what lies ahead for me in the working world. Sometimes I think that I will not end up in the broadcast market and it scares me because not only have I invested so much-it's what I really want to do. I always feel refreshed when I see how accomplished the professors and faculty at Missouri School of Journalism and at KOMU are. I do feel that I have an edge in this industry because I am taught by professionals who have lots of experience.

I looked around on the internet for jobs and saw that photojournalist was number 189 out of 200 in Forbes Best and Worst Jobs list. http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/st_BESTJOBS2010_20100105.html And on this website, newspaper reporters and photojournalists make the bad jobs list again. http://www.chilloutpoint.com/news/top-25-worst-jobs-to-have-in-2010.html


Posted 11/30/2010: 

November 30, 2010: Over the weekend I was talking with some classmates about wikileaks (http://wikileaks.org/) and if this is a form of journalism. I read a dozen articles on the topic and really enjoyed this one http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9953/ and two good take away quotes from this article are "the information provided by Wikileaks serves no such noble purpose." and "the only purpose of the leaks is to embarrass and to sow confusion." Wikileaks does not seem to have these guiding principles http://www.mdn.org/jschool/CREED.HTM and therefore in my opinion it does not reflect true journalism.


Posted 11/17/2010: 

November 17, 2010: I was speaking with a friend who works at WAAY 31 in Huntsville, Alabama about a story that she was recently assigned. I noticied that both of us have developed "news jargon." She told me what one of her SOT's was in her package and in return I asked what kind of b-roll footage she shot. I'm thankful to know that what I have been learning in broadcast class in terms of TV language/jargon is universal. I can admit that when I first started working for a local TV station I was overwhelmed with all of the new references. This website is helpful for those who want a quick understanding of some words heard around a news station http://journalism.ukings.ca/journalism_3925.html. This website has more information on words from other news mediums, like newspaper http://www.stepno.com/ec/newswords.html#bj.

 


Posted 10/28/2010:   October 28, 2010: I am looking forward to my election night assignment. This upcoming Tuesday I will have hands on experience covering a candidate on election night. I am traveling to a new place that I have actually never even heard of. One thing that I have grown to enjoy about this industry is meeting new people and spending time in new places. I have a lot to prepare for and I have a new Marantz to learn before heading over to the campaign. Off I go!
Posted 10/19/2010: 

October 19, 2010: I was recently interviewed for a job and was shocked when I was asked, "So who's that guy in your profile picture..is that a boyfriend?" It's my best friend from my first year in college. The picture was taken of us at a dinner party for local political candidates. The fact that my employer looked at me via Facebook before meeting me in person for an interview suprised me. It definitely made me think twice about what is posted on my Facebook as well as my Twitter account.

I read the following news article about people who have been fired from their jobs because of comments made on their Twitter accounts. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29796962/. I was suprised to see that some of the people fired were journalists. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/15/fired-over-twitter-tweets_n_645884.html#s111541 


Posted 09/30/2010:   September 30, 2010: Finished my first feature story today! It feels good I must say! I spent one day writing and about a week researching and finding sources to interview. I hope that I will learn to be quicker when producing stories like this. I am hardly making mistakes with my Marantz anymore and am asking better questions during interviews which is huge because I get less worthless audio that does not address my story focus. I was told that I have a little bit of an "edge" when producing stories which can only work for some news operations but I should really work on toning down my language so that it does not come across as too powerful. I am glad and thankful that I am getting critiqued by professionals.
Posted 09/21/2010: 

 September 21, 2010: Today I was assigned a feature story that will focus on why there is a lack of press availability from US Senatorial Candidates Roy Blunt and Robin Carnahan. I interviewed Missouri School of Journalism Professor Charles Davis, Doug Crews from the Missouri Press Association, and an intern from the Blunt campaign in St. Louis. I dubbed audio and cut soundbites that I will work into my feature story. I have two more interviews scheduled for this upcoming Thursday. I have noticed that I have developed better interviewing skills in terms of finding appropriate sources and asking better questions.


Posted 09/16/2010: 

September 16, 2010:  I have scheduled two interviews about my feature story on the living conditions of pets in pet store and dog breeding facilities. I contacted Barabara Schmidt, Director of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, for an in-person interview in early October. I also spoke with Rebecca McNeill, Media Coordinator for American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) about scheduling an interview with Tim Rickey. Schmidt referred me to Rickey while we chatted on the phone and she told me that he is the Senior Director at ASPCA for field investigations. Rickey has first hand experience of reporting from a scene where animals have been kept in cruel living conditions. I looked up his work online and found countless reports, press releases, and YouTube videos of his experiences in these situations. I watched this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60LiJE-CmAk where Rickey field reports from a place he was called to see by the local sherrifs department. Rickey says that this particular case had the "worst faciltiy I've every seen." In that YouTube video at 1:54 there is a dog shown that is "cage crazy". This condition is where an animal has been locked in a cage for a significant amount of time and has developed a behavior that causes him to bounce around the cage. This was really disturbing to me. Later on in the clip Rickey takes the dog out of the cage and into custody. I also found many articles like this on the ASPCA website of Rickey working in the field http://www.aspca.org/news/national/01-29-10.html. I noticied that Rickey does work throughout the nation for the ASPCA. I plan on asking him about what he has seen in other states and where Missouri standds in terms of how bad this situation really is.

I have an interview scheduled with Rickey in Columbia, MO this upcoming Thursday (9/23) about his experiences as a field investigator.

I spent time today during my lunch break talking to Art, a tour guide, about sports. I also helped brainstorm questions for a fellow reporter in the news room today. His story is about armadillos migrating north into Missouri state lines. There is a Missouri resident in Camdenton who has had an armadillo invasion problem for approximately 2 years. I am interested to see what my fellow reporter here at Missouri Digital News reports about this issue.

On a side note, I plan on taking a tour of the state Capitol and treking up more than 200 stairs to the Capitol dome soon!

I am looking forward to my upcoming interviews and feel that I got a lot of research done today about my topic and sources.


Posted 09/14/2010: 

September 14: 2010: Today I worked on contacting Congressman Roy Blunt's campaign in order to schedule an interview. I spoke to Dan Wadlington who works in Blunt's office in Springfield, MO. I was then directed to Blunt's office in Washington D.C. where I spoke to Meggie Lyzenga who informed me that she would process my request for an interview and would be in contact with me soon. I then called Blunt's office in St. Louis and asked specifically for Rich Chrismer. I called and left my name and phone number and was told that I would be contacted by Chrismer. I did not hear anything back so I called again in the afternoon and was referred to Ray Bozarth who works on Blunt's campaign in the mid-Missouri area. I spoke with Bozarth and he directed me to Tim O'Toole, Deputy Press Secretary for Congressman Blunt. I requested two phone numbers and an email address to reach O'Toole. I immediately called O'Toole but was not able to get ahold of him so I left him a voice message. I then emailed him asking for an interview and a day to shadow the congressman while he campaigns.

I am starting to wonder why I have been bounced around to so many sources. This is something that I will raise when I interview Blunt.

I also worked on my feature story today about dog breeding. I set up target deadlines for myself so that I can better focus on completing this story. I have scheduled myself to conduct interviews by October 4th and I want all of my remaining audio (nat sound) by October 8th. I want to edit my audio the week of October 11th-October 15th. I want to spend the week of October 18th and October 22nd writing and editing my story. I plan on researching my feature story for the remaining hour and a half of my shift and developing a list of possible sources to interview.

Also, during my lunch break I introduced myself to the reporters in the AP office and the tour guides in the Capitol. I plan on taking a tour of the state Capitol building and climbing the Capitol dome (Why not? I work here twice a week!). The tour guides I met today told me that I would have to contact a state represenative in order to schedule a climb to the dome (Apparently, this is a new enforced policy).

Looking forward to my next shift at Missouri Digital News. I made a lot of progress today on both my feature and profile stories. I remain hopeful, after repeated phone calls to the Blunt campaign that I will get an opportunity to interview him.

 


Posted 09/09/2010: 

September 9, 2010: Today I picked my profile story and feature story for the semester at Missouri Digital News. I decided to profile Congressman Roy Blunt who is running for Senate this year. I spent the day researching as much as I could about Blunt and where he stands on topics such as the early negative campaiging towards Robin Carnahan, American healthcare, and the war in the Middle East. I contacted the print journalist who is also profiling Blunt and we decided to work together on this story. He informed me that he has contacted Blunt's public relations directors in regards to setting up an in-person interview.

The feature story that I selected is about the living conditions of pets in some stores and breeder pens. I would like to investigate the safety and care that animals are provided with while in these facilitates. I did some research and found an AP story about the city of Wentzville defeating a proposal that would ban the retail sale of dogs and cats. I looked into this story because I thought that it could maybe lead me in the direction of finding more sources. This is the short story I found. http://kmox.cbslocal.com/2010/09/09/wentzville-aldermen-defeat-animal-sales-ban/ I also found this story from MSNBC that mentions Missouri along with several other states on their position about pet retail http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37359894/ns/health-pet_health/

I worked on my blog during my shift because I made a goal of blogging everyday that I am in the newsroom. I also wrote my weekly memo so that Brooks can keep track of my work for this week. I plan on researching more on Blunt and I think I will contact a political science professor from MU who I know has connections with MO Senators to see if he can give me any more information/direction.


Posted 09/07/2010: 

September 7, 2010: I started my second week at Missouri Digital News by attending a quick press conference with Governor Nixon. At this press conference Missouri native Gilbert Pritzel was presented with the highest honor from the French government, the Legion of Honor. I did some research and found that Pritzel will join a select group of recipients including astronaut Jim Lovell, General George Patton, and economist Alan Greenspan. I found a few things interesting about this story: 1.) He earns this recognition 66 years later 2.) He has 5 bronze stars 3.) He nearly shot a man who would later become a US President. My goal was to incorporate all of these things into my three wraps by the end of the day.

I skipped lunch so that I could work further on finding my sound bites and writing my wraps. I made quite a bit of progress and was able to have my stories edited before 2pm. I worked on writing my blog and memo while I waited to voice my stories. I was critiqued on my voice and was taught how to edit audio noise feedback.

I worked very hard to produce three wraps about this story by the end of the day to redeem myself for the mistakes I made on my shift on Thursday.


Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.